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Benjamin Lloyd's Hymnbook The Alabama Center for Traditional Culture, 1999 cd insert, $18.00 The Pleasant Hill Singers Songs of the Shaker West Verdant Groves Music Foundation, 1 999 CD VGMFOI, $17.00 In 1841 a backwoods Alabama Baptist preacher named Benjamin Lloyd published a words-only hymnal adapted, as he wrote, "to singing on all occasions." As was customary in Lloyd's day—and in true Baptist fashion—the tunes to accompany the texts were left up to individual congregations. Over 1 50 years later the book stands as an unchanging bulwark in an age offrequentiy revised denominational hymnals, and it continues to command a loyal following among bodi soudiern white and black Primitive Baptists. On this twenty-cut cd, listeners can tease out the differences and similarities among congregations wrought by time and circumstance, and gain a greater appreciation for the unaccompanied style diat dominated nineteenm-century southern religious music. A one-hundredpage booklet containing six essays illuminates the history ofthis remarkable hymnal and style of singing. Songs ofthe Shaker West surveys some of the music written by members of the western Shaker settlements in Ohio and Kentucky. Recorded in die 1 820 meeting house at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, the a cappella tunes celebrate God's glory and die delights ofShaker life. The Pleasant Hill Singers, founded in 1988 to recreate authentic Shaker music, are sweetiy tuned and nicely capture the swing and simplicity of the music. It is a shame, though understandable, that on every cut the cd aims as much for clarity as forhistorical accuracy. As a result, the concert-style performances leave out the percussive interaction of hands, feet, and voice diat added so powerfully to Shaker melodies. Ed. note: Topurchase Songs of the Shaker West write to Verdant Groves MusicFoundation, 171 Shakers Landing Road, Harrodsburg, KY40330;for Benjamin Lloyd's Hymnbook, write to TheAlabama Centerfor Traditional Culture, 410 North HuIlSt, Montgomery, AL36104 92 southern cultures, Summer2000 : GavinJames Campbell ...


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